Encampments line the Ballona Wetlands

Encampments line the Ballona Wetlands

LOS ANGELES   - Six Los Angeles City Council members introduced a resolution today to enforce the city's ordinance to restrict homeless encampments at three locations in and around the Civic Center and one location near a public park.

The resolution requests enforcement against sitting, lying, sleeping and storing personal property outside Union Station and City Hall, citing its proximity to a designated facility or shelter,  outside City Hall East, citing its proximity to a day care center; and near El Pueblo de Los Angeles, citing its proximity to a public park.

The resolution was co-introduced by Council President Nury Martinez, Councilwoman Monica Rodriguez, and Councilmen Kevin de Leon, Paul Krekorian, Bob Blumenfield and Paul Koretz. It was seconded by Councilman Mitch O'Farrell, who also introduced a resolution Wednesday to enforce the ordinance at nine underpass locations in his district.

   The law, which went into effect Sept. 3, prohibits sleeping, sitting, camping and obstructing the public right of way within 500 feet of a ``sensitive'' facility including schools, day care facilities, parks and libraries. It can be enforced once the council passes a resolution to designate a specific area for enforcement, posts signage and gives notice of the date that the ordinance will be enforced for the area.

   The ordinance also prohibits sitting, sleeping, lying, storing personal property or otherwise obstructing the public right-of-way without a resolution's passage in several areas of the city, including within two feet of any fire hydrant or fire plug; within five feet of any operational or utilizable entrance or exit; within 10 feet of a loading dock or driveway; in a manner that interferes with any activity for which the city has issued a permit or restricts accessible passage as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act; or anywhere within a street, including bike paths.

In September, the Westside Regional Alliance of Councils (WRAC) voted to recommend to WRAC Member-Councils, calling for action on the city-wide anti-camping ordinance. WRAC asked its members-councils to urge Councilmembers Bonin, Nithya Raman, Paul Koretz and Mark Ridley-Thomas (Councilmembers representing WRAC Member-Councils) to consult as soon as possible with their respective WRAC Member-Councils for input as to the designation of sites within their districts for enforcement of the new anti camping law; it also calls for the Councilmembers to act promptly in bringing resolutions in Council to designate sites for enforcement. In addition, the motion specifies that enforcement should not begin until offers of shelter are first made and refused.

Numerous locations in CD11 would quality for Bonin to ask the council to  enforce the city's ordinance including Westchester Park, the Ballona Wetlands, the Venice Boardwalk and numerous schools in the district. 

Councilmembers Nithya Raman, who represents neighborhoods stretching from Sherman Oaks to Silver Lake, and Mike Bonin cast the only opposing votes against the City Council motion to enact the ordinance.